Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Clicking Refresh

Welp. I think I just submitted my novel to a literary agent.

Starting a few days ago, after I finished the last of my overdue Dungeons and Dragons shorts, I got to work on Soulless. I've had quite a few edits to go over courtesy of my beta-readers. They'd reported back to me among many things that one of the relationships moved too fast and that the final confrontation was over much too quickly. I have since edited the manuscript and it is now, er, at approximately 104,000 words. Which is kind of a lot for a Young Adult fantasy novel.
The past few two days, I have been researching literary agents with which to submit. I have read all about the self-publishing path on the internet, but my dream is to be traditionally published. I found an agency called Cameron Creswell that allowed me to send them my submission online. Then came the tricky part.

The cover letter.

Man. I think I must have spent several hours writing up that thing. It's quite hard to condense a 100K+ novel down to just a few paragraphs. Even harder to make it sound intriguing. The hardest part of all was the first sentence, or the 'hook'. To catch an agent's attention, you've gotta be able to draw them in with that first sentence.
Here's what I sent them:

Dear (insert agent's name),
I’m seeking representation for my Young Adult fantasy novel, Soulless complete at 104,000 words. It could be the first in a potential series, or a standalone novel.
Rook Llewellyn never imagined he’d pass his curse on again, but the moment he stepped into that old burning farmhouse to save her, young Evie Wray’s life changed forever.
Although safe from the flames, Evie is now burdened with an ancient curse that turns her into a creature known in legends and horror stories as a Soul-Wraith. To survive, a wraith must steal the energy or the soul from other living creatures.
Evie discovers that the fire that has taken her parents’ lives and which nearly took hers was no accident. Those responsible are actually the Watch, the men who police the country of Geath, and this is not the first time they’ve shown their corrupt side. Evie journeys with Rook and a bumbling and quite useless wizard by the name of Quintin, to the capital city of Tsarus to demand answers and justice for the crimes of the Watch.
The three companions face many trials on their travels, but the worst awaits them in Tsarus. A figure from Rook’s shadowy past fixes hungry eyes on Evie’s strange new healing powers.
I am writing to you because I believe that we could work well together. I absolutely love writing and telling stories and I have a lot of practice with working to deadlines from my training and experience as a graphic designer. I have had several short stories published in anthologies and was shortlisted for the 2009 Somerset National Novella Writing Competition. I may be submitting this manuscript simultaneously.
Thank you for your time.

I hope I've done it right.

The next hardest thing was the synopsis they requested. Which means even more condensing. I had to break Soulless down into its bare bones components, detailign all the main story arcs and developments. It took longer than I thought.

But finally, I got it all done, checked it twice, and then hit submit.
I'm finding it hard not to keep checking my emails every five minutes, even though I know it will take them much longer to respond.

Feeling: Excited but cool.
Wearing: Ugh. Old school pants and a black shirt with african animals printed in white, gold and brown on the front.
Listening to: Beyond by Daft Punk. Sooo good.
Eating: Had a massive slice of birthday cake. Birthday was two days ago. Still hasn't sunk in that I'm 20 now. *cringes at the thought*

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